10/14/07 5:21 PM ET
Wedge workout day interview
Manager credits entire team for stepping up in Game 2 win
By / MLB.com
ERIC WEDGE: Well, it was a great game. It was I think a great effort with both teams. When you get into the postseason and you feel the game going the way that game is going, you knew we might be playing for a while and it was going to take something special to finish it off. And obviously Trot stepped up, but we had a number of people that stepped up in that game to allow us to get to that point in time.
Fenway is a tough place to play there, but I felt like our guys handled it great. It's a long series, but it was important for us to get out of there with a split. I really love the way our guys competed last night.
When your playing career ended, you had more than one chance to manage in different organizations. Why did you pick the Indians' offer, and was that a tough decision?
ERIC WEDGE: Well, Mark Shapiro. He's the reason that I'm here. He was the farm director at the time. I just felt like we were aligned just in regard to how we felt about baseball and players. I knew that he was in this thing for the right reasons, and that's so important to me. It's important that our players understand that we care about them and it's all about them, and that's the way this organization operates. We try to be as consistent with that as we can because it's real.
Given what a great job the Red Sox did with your two aces, how encouraged were you to get out of there with a win knowing that your two bests weren't at their very, very best mainly because of the Red Sox?
ERIC WEDGE: Well, it was a collectively effort. Boston did a real good job with C.C. and Fausto. C.C. and Fausto, they compete, and they're warriors on the mound. But I felt like Boston did a great job in making them work, trying to get them on the plate.
For us last night the bullpen really stepped up, gave us a chance to keep on playing. It's so tough to win extra inning games on the road. I talked about it last night a little bit, you've got to get basically six outs to their three once you get into extra innings.
So it was a long night, but everybody stepped up and there were people that stepped up and were put into situations that you wouldn't normally see them in because of that type of ballgame. Tom Mastny comes to mind, and you look at what Jensen Lewis did, and Trot getting a big hit there off a tough left hander. You can't say enough about the effort that both teams gave last night, but ultimately it was great that we were able to finish that off.
Specifically Lewis came in in an inning when Boston was swinging the bat pretty well, and from there on the bullpen kind of set you off.
ERIC WEDGE: Yeah. He kind of stemmed the tide there. He did a great job of stopping the momentum that they had going at that point in time. He's been a big part of our bullpen here the last couple months. Another young man that has come through our system. He has a great deal of confidence. You know, he's really helped us in the back end of our bullpen, a lot of big outs for us here in the last couple months. He was the one that really got things going for us last night in that bullpen, and I think everybody has worked off of that. So it was a great effort by Jensen.
Why Mastny in that particular inning against those three guys, especially after he had thrown two scoreless innings in Game 1?
ERIC WEDGE: Well, we had Laffey, Fultz or Mastny. I felt with the way the Tom threw the ball the night before that he was our best option at that point in time. It was important for him to get in that game the night before. He hadn't pitched in like 12 days at that point in time. When you get in the postseason and you've got days off and you've got players that are sometimes put into that situation, next thing you know, you need them in a big way.
I really liked the way he threw the ball the day before the two innings that he pitched. He only threw about 26 pitches, I think, so he was strong, ready. Talk about being thrown into the fire, I mean, that's with those three guys, and he did a great job, and I liked the way he went right after them.
You talked a little bit last night about the intangible benefits of bringing in a guy like Trot. What did the team show you the way they rallied last night in a hostile environment? And how can this carry over now that you guys have the momentum?
ERIC WEDGE: Well, you know, our guys play the same way every day, but when you talk about Trot and what he's brought to this ballclub, you know, you can't downplay that at all because he's really helped a lot of our young players. I think everybody was up at home plate with him last night when he was up there. You felt our dugout before, during and after his at bat. Big game player, he's been in that situation a lot. For him to get a big hit there at Fenway, all the more special.
But he's meant a great deal to our ballclub, both on and off the field. His role has changed over the course of this year, and he's a great competitor. Everybody wants to go out there and play every day, but he's handled it like the professional he is and comes to the ballpark every day ready to play.
A follow up to what was asked a moment ago: Is there anything as momentum that you pick up from that win on the road coming home to Game 3? Does anything at this point of the season carry over? ERIC WEDGE: We're happy to be back home. If you're going to talk about momentum one way, then you've got to talk about momentum the other way. I wouldn't be sitting here crying about it if we lost last night saying the momentum is with them, and I'm not going to say we're rocking and rolling because we won last night. It was a big game, we came out of there with the split, but the fact of the matter is we need to rest and relax today, come to the ballpark tomorrow and be ready to go out there and compete the way we do.
I'm glad to be coming home. I'm excited about playing here in front of our fans. I'm excited that the city of Cleveland gets to watch their team play here at home for three games. Right now my entire focus is on tomorrow night and playing the way we need to play tomorrow.
You mentioned they need rest. I mean, long night and also a couple of relievers went longer than they normally do. How whooped, I guess, are the guys?
ERIC WEDGE: They'll be all right. It's the postseason. They're tough. They do a good job taking care of themselves. It was a long night obviously for both teams. I think the off day is needed. So they'll rest, get off their feet, and we'll be ready to go tomorrow.
We've had some off days here in the postseason, which I think has been needed for us with the grind that we had, but they'll be ready to go tomorrow.
What can C.C. and Carmona do kind of to adjust to the Boston hitters, the way they've adjusted to them?
ERIC WEDGE: Well, I think that's what they'll do. You know, they're great competitors and obviously very talented, but they're very intelligent, as well. They do a good job of learning from their experiences, they do a good job of making adjustments, and I think that's what you'll see happen. They'll do that. I've got a pretty good idea what they're feeling inside, but what they need to do is look ahead, and that's what they will do, and prepare, and be ready to go out there and give us a chance to win the next time they pitch. I'm looking forward to seeing it.
Courtesy of FastScripts by ASAP Sports. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.